Drew is now two steps down from the ICU and is gearing up to start intensive rehab at a nearby facility later this week. Drew is still being monitored closely on his medication to combat further and existing clots.
Drew has had many visitors - which brings a smile to my face cause I get to see him light up. It’s safe to say he’s getting a little tired of seeing my face everyday. Drew’s favorite visitor was from “his dude” this weekend. They enjoyed an afternoon of snuggles in between Max trying to press on every button he could find - the hospital is super fun for 1 year olds!
Drew thanks you all for the prayers, love and support. He feels so lucky to have such amazing people in his life.
- Drew stays safe with the addition of new meds
- Continued progress and mental strength during this challenging time
I got to hang out with Drew yesterday and he passed his video swallow test and has been cleared for solid foods. He got his cookies and ginger ale. He also made a trip to the chair for a change of pace from the bed. He got some visitors from work, Tom, Mark, and Miriam. The Burton’s brought dinner...thanks so much!
Everyday he’s working to get stronger because he is anxious to get out of the hospital. He’s practiced standing a few times and was able to pivot to the chair. He also got another visit from a therapy dog Grover. The volunteer checked his bracelet to confirm his identity (for some reason) and Drew said, “You better scan it to make sure I don’t overdose on puppies.”
-That he’d continue to do well on his evaluations
-Positivity in the face of this trial for Drew and family alike.
On behalf of the Cartwright/Gibbs fam I wanted to thank you all for the love, support, prayers and food, LOTS of food! It’s amazing to see the amount of love that surrounds my brother. What a testament to how he’s impacted so many people.
Now onto the update, today was a busy day. Drew had his second PT/OT session this AM where they were able to lift him onto a chair, which was a nice change from the bed for a week. Though immobile on the left side (for now), Drew’s strength continues to impress all of us.
This afternoon Drew had the cardiac procedure to stitch the hole in his heart (known as a PFO). This will prevent clots from traveling through his heart to his brain again. They’re going to continue to monitor him for any complications.
- Safe post procedure recovery
- Continues to show progress and strength each day
- That Drew kills his swallowing test this next week and gets to drink ginger ale (he’s been asking me to smuggle it in)
Thank you all so much for the prayers. Our Heavenly Father hears them and has been answering. There have certainly been ups and downs but here are some things for which to be thankful. Today Drew’s pain was at a level at which he could withstand some family administered PT. During that, Drew has continually shown strength on his right side and, though weaker on the left, he is able to fire his larger muscle groups like his quads and hip flexors. He has been crushing family friend Katie Gould in Rock Paper Scissors and has been cracking jokes all day. He’s back to applesauce and ice chips and is likely to move on to blended food soon.
Drew had a visit from a therapy dog named Wink (see picture), and had a spa day including a haircut, shave and some massage. The swelling is down around his eyes so he’s been looking at pictures and having conversations with visitors including is high school buddy Earl. When Renee asked him who his favorite nurse had been so far, Drew answered “Mark!”
-that he’d get some professional pt tomorrow
-that the doctors would have wisdom about timing on a procedure he needs
-continued improvement on his left side muscle control
-that family morale would stay high and encouraging
We ask today that anyone who can would double down on their prayer efforts. I know that God doesn’t need to be harassed or incited to work, but we are also told to pray continually. Jesus tells us that the father cares about the requests of his people as they are made persistently, in Matthew 18. “And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly.”
Drew is still in severe risk of having another stroke over the next couple weeks. He can’t take blood thinners until he heals from surgery and the initial stroke. Please pray that God would protect his brain from any existing clots in his body.
He also failed his swallow test today, so no solid foods for him yet. Please pray for growing strength in this area.
Today was a really good day. He was talking a lot today and he wants you all to know that if you can avoid having a stroke, you should. He also passed his swallow study and has had ice chips and applesauce. He is opening his left eye on his own but his right eye is swollen shut from the surgery.
-He is going to have swallow evaluations everyday so pray he does well and can step up gradually to more solid food.
-I just asked Drew if he had any specific prayer request...pain maybe? He said definitely don’t pray for pain!
Many people are asking if they can help by bringing meals. Yes! We would love for you to! You can click on this link for a meal schedule. https://takethemameal.com/meals.php?t=OOCD0285 (The password is drew)
As of now, there are only 4 days available, since we don't know when Renee and Drew will be transitioning back home. More dates will be added soon.
Drew underwent a craniectomy yesterday evening to allow for swelling to occur without more damage. As of this morning, he is no longer sedated and is now breathing on his own. He is able to sign yes and no and says he isn't in pain. He is trying to use ASL finger spelling but hasn't been able to put together clear thoughts yet. He seems to recognize his family and can open both eyes, but can't yet focus.
Pray for minimal brain swelling and that he would be able to process well enough to communicate.